If you do not have a great deal of industry experience, as a new franchise owner you will soon come to realise that it takes time to develop the necessary experience to determine what initiatives work best to increase sales.
What makes it even more difficult is the fact that what might work for one franchisee in a specific area might not necessarily work for you in your particular geographical area.
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Here, the following initiatives are worth considering and implementing if you are looking to increase sales in your franchise:
1. Be prepared to learn from others
Make a point of contacting the most experienced franchisees in the group and find out what techniques are the most cost-effective and worked best for them.
- Ask the right questions and listen to their advice, which comes from years of experience and the ‘school of hard knocks’.
- The owners of the franchise and your franchise operations manager can also offer informed advice.
2. Optimise your team’s selling skills
Selling is the lifeblood of any business, so you must ensure that your own basic and advanced selling skills, and those of your staff, are excellent in order to maximise sales. If you have never had any basic and advanced sales training, source and attend an appropriate course.
3. The customer is king
Customers always want good value for money, so ensure that your customer value proposition provides a better alternative than your competitors at all times.
4. Market cleverly
On a limited budget, one must think like a small business and use cost-effective marketing initiatives such as flyers, posters, small advertisements, special offers, billboards etc. to increase sales.
5. Maximise word-of-mouth potential
By providing a good product and superior customer service and experience, people will start talking and refer other customers to you.
It is claimed that everyone has a customer circle of influence of at least 100 people in a lifetime, so very satisfied customers can have a significant impact on your business.
Test your customer service experience by calling in from time to time yourself, or by getting friends to act as mystery shoppers. By doing this you are in a position to improve and affect any necessary changes required to increase sales.
6. Embrace creativity
Explore all possible avenues to improve sales by using technology, visiting as many prospective new clients as possible, and getting your staff in the mode of up-selling or pushing add-ons as much as possible. Every little bit of extra effort helps to increase turnover.
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7. Qualify and listen
Become an expert at qualifying prospective clients’ needs by asking the right questions, and becoming an expert listener. Learn how to close a sale quickly, how to overcome objections, and how to handle difficult customers.
8. Go the extra mile
In an age where customer loyalty is rapidly declining, a concerted holistic effort from both you and your staff will be required to increase sales and retain customers.
Do what other franchises are not doing, then customers will consider being loyal to your business and refer other prospects to you.
9. Adapt or die
A good franchisee must be like a chameleon, able to adapt quickly to the needs, requirements and expectations of new and existing customers in order to sustain and increase sales.
10. Set realistic sales targets
While it is important to set realistic targets, they should still challenge you. Take one small systematic step at a time.
As Aristotle said: “Ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.” So, don’t worry if you are an inexperienced franchisee. You must start somewhere, everyone did.
Listen with an open mind, ask enough questions, get advice from experts and then put into action a sales plan that works for you in your area and for your demographic customer profile. Good luck with your sales initiatives!